Do you prefer longer or shorter detailed story plots?

Do you like to read a lot of text from Characters?


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Natural

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This poll is probably better than the last one that I posted.

I wanted to ask because I like to write a ton in my storyboarding for each event that's happening with my characters. It's pretty detailed, but sometimes I think it might be too much. When I say too much I mean like paragraphs of conversations going back and forth or is that a normal thing for each event? I don't think it's boring text it's just a lot of text going back and forth lol. 

I'll have events like that and then points in time where there isn't as much talking or no talking like when they're in a dangerous area fighting or escaping from some place, or planning something. 
 
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Prodigy 1216

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Depends on the content of the text. If it is full of bla, bla, bla may bore the players, try to explain plot by gameplay to get players attention like in FF7.
 

Ms Littlefish

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I think a lot of things really depend. Obviously I'd avoid redundancy and characters repeating the same information. Also, it's likely that not everyone needs to chime in for every, single situation. Also to avoid just way too much going on at once. Even if there's a lot to go through, I think bite sized pieces work better. Another thing to consider is that with video games we have the luxury of not needing to use text for everything, and instead we can show and play the game for information as well.
 

LootHunter

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My opinion is that you can write as much text as you like as long as it is optional to read it. And I don't mean like skipping it but the text itself to be optional. Like dialog options, that player can choose to clarify stuff, or can do without it. Or some books. In the library, for example, where you can find every kind of information about the world.
 

Natural

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I wouldn't say it's boring but I have mixed feelings about some of it lol. Not all of it though. I might just write it out and revise some of it later on. 
Events where the main characters are discussing what they're going to do to get out of a situation they're in or what they should do about. Or maybe one of the sub characters in the storyline is explaining something to you and you're responding back with your main character. Like maybe you're talking with a scientist (sub char) and he's trying to explain a topic that you know nothing about and it might be 1 minute or 2 to read. 

I agree about the redundancy that would be kind of annoying. I thought so too Ms Littlefish about small pieces but then I wouldn't be able to convey everything. Depending on the responses I might have to learn to squeeze information together more efficiency.
 

Heartbreak61

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My opinion:

No, if I want long text, I would just read books. As a player, I will appreciate it if the game creator consider me as the "subject" of the game, not his/her object of story telling.

Exception: VN type game, since theoritically it's just a novel with animated picture xD
 

Makio-Kuta

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It can go both ways for me. Some games I will gladly sit there and listen to the cast chat back and forth for a long time, sometimes I will be bashing the button screaming "Get on with it!" It's impossible to judge how every player is going to act, so it's important to think of situations where you yourself have experienced both scenarios and try to think really hard what it was about the text that made you lap it all up or bored out of your skull.

I myself tend to write a lot of long winded cutscenes and there's a few things that I try to keep in mind from my own person experiences reading long cutscenes to help me write them.

Deliver new information!

* Littlefish mentioned redundancy, and I think that that is one of the big ones. If your characters have been spending 5 pages worth of dialogue text talking about the same thing and delivering the same piece of information over and over and bringing nothing new to the table - stop. New information is important. A conversation that is long can feel short if the player is always learning something new every few lines. Don't dwell on one joke or one fact longer than a few lines. Obviously you can dwell on a TOPIC, but the conversation should keep moving around that topic and bringing the player something new related to it as it goes.

Remember the tone of your game.

* Say you have a really serious game. Deathly serious. There hasn't been an entire joke through the entire game. Then suddenly towards the end the characters spend a long time on a comedy bit. It's mood breaking, and the chance that the player is going to smash the buttons to get through that rises exponentially. It's important to keep the tone of your game in your mind at all times, and everything should work to strengthen that tone. If you REALLY feel the need to have something that runs against the tone, it better be short enough to not jar the player right out of things.

Visuals and Sound!!

* It's a game! You have more than just text at your disposal, use it~ A long conversation with two or more sprites just standing there talking to each other is going to feel stale no matter how well you write it. Keep the player engaged with sounds and visuals. Just like in movies or comics, "talking heads" can happen in games too and it's really boring.

Good Characters and strong writing

* Perhaps this is a given, but I see it a lot when I watch or play demos from RPGmaker community. Both the characters and their dialogue are stale, boring, uninteresting and it's hard to even care. You have to make your player care about who and what they are reading. Leave the longer conversations of character drabble for later - once the player is going to care about what these people are saying. Again, this one is going to vary a lot depending on the likes and whims of your player, but never settle for writing that is 'good enough' and never settle with your first draft. Write something at least twice - have someone else proof read it, someone who doesn't have any attachment to the world or characters yet. What did they think? Writing for a game should be like writing for a book - it should never be given less attention than that.

Again, you'll never please everyone, but I think if you keep these things in mind, you'll have a better chance of entertaining your players through long conversations. But, don't just take my words for it! Find games that bore you and games that capture you and make your own notes on what you think one does better than the other, why you think that one game is so boring. Do a little research and you will find out what you can bring to your game.

Ahhaha... long winded indeed.
 

Ms Littlefish

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Visuals and Sound!!

* It's a game! You have more than just text at your disposal, use it~ A long conversation with two or more sprites just standing there talking to each other is going to feel stale no matter how well you write it. Keep the player engaged with sounds and visuals. Just like in movies or comics, "talking heads" can happen in games too and it's really boring.

This x 1000. My biggest annoyance in cut scenes is floating head syndrome. Some might even say this disease is deadly! When there is no engagement with the visuals and/or the audio, it's very easy to forget that you're playing a game at all and just zone out onto the bar of words popping up on the screen. 

And, I also fully agree with Makio that if the dialogue is conversational, full of personality, in the moment, and doesn't feel like a laundry list of "they need to know this" that I rather enjoy cut scenes, even if they verge on long. 

I actually do tend to write things on the longer side (though I do let the room air out between big scenes). When I write a scene I do a tiny outline of what this scene should accomplish and what the player should be getting out of it. I find that a pretty effective way to whittle down on excess fat making its way in. I also read what I write out loud to myself. If I can't read it comfortably than it probably is unnaturally worded and forced in some way and then I work toward rewording it. I edit, edit, edit a lot. 

One more thing on visuals is there are many tools to make the appearance of the text itself more interesting. When I read out loud to myself I note where I pause and what my inflection is, and then represent this in some way with these text tools. This can also help convey tone and personality.
 

Makio-Kuta

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I actually do tend to write things on the longer side (though I do let the room air out between big scenes). When I write a scene I do a tiny outline of what this scene should accomplish and what the player should be getting out of it. I find that a pretty effective way to whittle down on excess fat making its way in. I also read what I write out loud to myself. If I can't read it comfortably than it probably is unnaturally worded and forced in some way and then I work toward rewording it. I edit, edit, edit a lot.
Reading things out loud is a great way to catch mistakes! yeah! I also second making lists detailing what is the most important information a cut scene exists to deliver.
 

Valkyriet

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Somewhere between "not really" and "I like to read a lot of detailed text if it's not boring" , although, I voted for the former. Sometimes, you don't really need to explain everything to the player; it's okay to keep them guessing or let them figure it out by themselves. You can explain something with the help of visuals too. Try experimenting.

As for story plots, I don't mind how detailed it is as long as it keeps me interested without turning into a complication of twists and turns on steroids. And no, a plot doesn't always need heavy detail to be interesting. Personally, I love a good mystery or a plot where you think you're you know what's happening, just before getting Ex-Machina'd. If there's quite a bit of backstory involved in your game, it would be interesting to leave it up to the players to discover it. For example, that one half-written letter lying on the desk could contain a confession of murder, but you'd never know if you failed to pay attention to that subtle hint in that one dialogue.

Or something like that.
 

Seacliff

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I would say yes, if only for the fact that I feel a lot of games (the medium as a whole, RPG Maker games are fine) try to skimp out on detailed writing in the past few years. I feel like games like Metal Gear Solid, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Rune Factory, along with other game series to have better plot and characters in the previous generations compared to the newer games they had in this generation.

I'm not asking for a Visual Novel, because if I did I would just read one instead, but trying to use something better than a one-dimensional storyline wouldn't hurt in an RPG.
 

Nivlacart

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I hate reading more than I have to.

It really breaks immersion in a game to have a load of lore slapped in my face.

Treat the player as a character experiencing the world for the first time. People don't experience a world by reading about it.
Show them your world.
 

byronclaude

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You are gauranteed to get mixed opinions on this (my friends and I used to argue about this. They hated a lot of reading... But I personally like it (a great rpg is like a great interactive book. My theory - if you want a lot of detail, that's great - but it had better remain interesting, or you will detour even players like me.
 

Demiqas

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It genuinely doesn't matter as long as your story is good. A bad story is going to be disliked either way.
 

Wavelength

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More often than not, I do like a plentitude of text.  I like hearing from the characters (especially my favorite characters) and understanding them better.  But it can backfire - it's good to avoid adding too much of the following:

  • Wordiness.  Almost any idea can be gotten across in 15 words or less - if I have to read more than that, especially "passive voice" words, it breaks immersion.  The conversation can be long and that's great, but each sentence, even each phrase, needs to pack a punch.
  • Info dumps.  You should experience things with your characters, not listen to them explaining things constantly.
  • Explanation of Plot.  Let events show the story where possible - save chatter for enriching the characters.
 

FlareBlitzed

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A lot of text enhances the story to the game, so out of Yes or No, I voted Yes. ^_^
 

trevers18

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I heavily prefer shorter texts if the game is gameplay-centric, but if the game is entirely story-focused, I expect quite a bit of text. It all depends on the game.

For me, I feel like a lot of scenes can go without text entirely. In one of the scenes of my game, my character has to escape from a zombie and if she gets touched by it, she gets hurt. Initially, I had it so that a sound played, a text box with the zombie's face came up saying, "GRAAAAH" etc., and then another text box from my character saying, "Get off me" etc. In the end, though, it worked out better when I just had the sound effects and no text, as it kept the flow going very well and I could let the player keep running even when being hit, which solved the issue the text boxes created where I had to fumble around for the Enter/Z key to advance the text and ended up getting hit again when the zombie touched me again. It all really depends on whether or not you actually need text. One of the major points of acting is "you must be able to physically do this," so I believe that, in RPGs, if you can convey something without text, do it.
 

byronclaude

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I heavily prefer shorter texts if the game is gameplay-centric, but if the game is entirely story-focused, I expect quite a bit of text. It all depends on the game.

For me, I feel like a lot of scenes can go without text entirely. In one of the scenes of my game, my character has to escape from a zombie and if she gets touched by it, she gets hurt. Initially, I had it so that a sound played, a text box with the zombie's face came up saying, "GRAAAAH" etc., and then another text box from my character saying, "Get off me" etc. In the end, though, it worked out better when I just had the sound effects and no text, as it kept the flow going very well and I could let the player keep running even when being hit, which solved the issue the text boxes created where I had to fumble around for the Enter/Z key to advance the text and ended up getting hit again when the zombie touched me again. It all really depends on whether or not you actually need text. One of the major points of acting is "you must be able to physically do this," so I believe that, in RPGs, if you can convey something without text, do it.
I enjoy this example of a "kind" of rpg in which actions replace words.  ... :) ...  I might even feel kinda inspired by this.  Okay, so for me, this would work well in a game that had tons of on-screen activity, sound fx, etc.  In this case it seems you are targeting the players adrenaline more so than their sense of intrigue or wonder.

I like trevers18's view into "game world"...   I may even have to experiment with a small project using less text now...  just to see if I could even do it (I'm used to the interactive story fantasy world feel).  Thank you!   :rock-left:   :D   :rock-right:
 

Euphony

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Reading things out loud is a great way to catch mistakes! yeah!
I do this purely out of habit. Maybe I'm just weird, but I don't understand why anyone wouldn't!

Also yes, people often forget to use their character sprites! Adding little poses or just having the characters move around can add so much life to a cutscene. Think of old games like Chrono Trigger that always had the sprites giggling, jumping, looking shocked, etc.

Okay I'm just being a parrot now and not really adding anything to discussion sorrrrry.
 
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Makio-Kuta

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I do this purely out of habit. Maybe I'm just weird, but I don't understand why anyone wouldn't!
I only do it when I'm really struggling with something. Despite knowing how well it works, I actually feel really nervous talking out loud to myself! :S :S


(I am a very shy person; even when the only person there is me. I guess. haha)
 

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